Marquette Heads To Iowa For Pair Of Weekend Matches

March 3, 2011

The Marquette University men's tennis team will continue its dual match campaign this weekend as it travels to Des Moines, Iowa, on Saturday, March 5 to take on Drake at 11 a.m. and Western Illinois at 4 p.m. Both matches will be played at Drake's Roger Knapp Tennis Center.

The Golden Eagles (7-5) improved their home winning streak to 6-0 last weekend with a pair of 7-0 shutouts over Bradley and Eastern Illinois. Against EIU, Marquette didn't drop a set in singles play and went on to sweep all six matches from the Panthers. Sophomore Jose Carlos Gutierrez Crowley has been a strong hold for the Golden Eagles in dual matches this season. Crowley is 8-4 at the No. 1 singles spot, including three victories in his last three matches.

Drake (6-2) has dropped its last two matches, including a 2-5 defeat to then No. 27 Minnesota. Senior Mauricio Ballivian, ranked No. 122 by Intercollegiate Tennis Association, is 5-3 at the No. 1 spot in dual matches this season. Ballivian is the defending Missouri Valley Conference Player of the Year.

"Drake has very good depth and there level is very consistent throughout their lineup," head coach Steve Rodecap said. "Every scouting report we have on the team tells us that they will be very scrappy and that all of the players are very good competitors."

Western Illinois (2-5) enters the weekend on a five-match losing streak. The Leathernecks were defeated 7-0 by Southern Illinois their last time out on Feb. 26. After transferring from Rhode Island, senior Jeff Cote was named the Summit League Newcomer of the Year last season. Cote has played in the No. 1 singles spot for the Leathernecks in every match this season.

"WIU on a neutral court will be a very challenging second match for us," Rodecap added. "Anytime you play two matches in a day, you better be ready for a physical and mental battle and I think our guys will be ready for the test."



This weekend's matches will mark the beginning of a six-match road trip for the Golden Eagles.


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